Community Dividend

Four projects kick off "green" initiative in Minnesota

Published November 1, 2005  |  November 2005 issue

The Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, Family Housing Fund and The Enterprise Foundation/Enterprise Social Investment Corporation (Enterprise) recently announced the launch of the Minnesota Green Communities Initiative (MGCI), a collaboration to create energy-efficient, environmentally friendly affordable housing throughout the state. The three organizations have committed $12 million in grants and other funds for the 2005-2007 construction of four demonstration projects that will provide a total of 180 new housing units. Most of the units will be reserved for low- or moderate-income people.

The four demonstration projects will incorporate features that conserve resources and promote health, such as indoor air quality systems, storm-water runoff controls, and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems. The projects are New San Marco Apartments in Duluth, developed by Center City Housing Corporation; Viking Terrace Apartments in Worthington, developed by Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership; Ripley Gardens in Minneapolis, developed by Central Community Housing Trust (CCHT); and The Wellstone, also in Minneapolis, developed by CCHT and Hope Community, Inc.

MGCI is a partner program to Green Communities (GC), a national, five-year, $555 million initiative to build at least 8,500 environmentally healthy homes for low-income families. GC provides grants, financing and tax credit equity for affordable housing developments that emphasize smart siting, resource conservation, energy efficiency and other criteria. The national initiative, created by Enterprise and the Natural Resources Defense Council, has partner programs in several states. Two of those states—Minnesota and Michigan—lie wholly or partly in the Ninth District. The Michigan Green Communities initiative is also under way, with $70 million in grants and financing pledged for the construction of 500 housing units, and is accepting applications for funding. Its creators are Enterprise, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Great Lakes Capital Fund.

For more information on the GC initiative, visit www.greencommunitiesonline.org.

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